Our Story

Gude Hi Hai, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Håfa ådai, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Halo Olketa, Tālofa, Bonjour, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Ia Orana, Mālō nī, Talofa lava, Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings.

This site is a key part of the Pacific Virtual Museum project, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Australia, and implemented by the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga in collaboration with the National Library of Australia.

This project was funded as a pilot from 2019 until February 2022. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade then provided further funding until June 2024. This funding is to build on the work of the pilot phase, but also to enable travel and engagement in the Pacific region, that had not been able to be undertaken during the pandemic.

We aim to empower people in and of the Pacific Islands, enabling them to see, discover and explore items of digitised cultural heritage that are held in collections around the world. People of the Pacific may not be aware these items or records exist, and we want to support them as they connect with these aspects of their own culture and history.

During this pilot, the role of the team is to support the ongoing development and delivery of the site and to ensure it is meeting the needs of Pacific people. To do so, we are focused on these areas:

  • Supporting our existing content partners, as they seek to add new records and refine the metadata of existing ones.

  • Engaging with any new content partners, based in the Pacific and beyond so that their knowledge and digitized content can be seen and found by those using the site.

  • Considering and managing the rollout of new functions and features, based on the feedback from users of the site, and ongoing advice from our co-design group.

  • Providing support and engagement to those who use the site. Our focus is on supporting educators and young people in the Pacific, but we are keen to connect with anyone with an interest in Pacific cultural heritage, including families, community groups, and researchers.

  • Monitoring and evaluating the use and impact of the site, to support the design of a sustainability plan for the site beyond February 2022.

We hope that this site will serve as a bridge between the authority of institutions, who often hold and preserve these items and records, and the mana and kawa of the people of the Pacific.

In a te ao Māori worldview, mana speaks to the influence, authority and efficacy of a person, place or thing, whilst in Fijian culture, the concept of ‘kawa’ is about the importance of family lineage and history, and the duty to uphold those legacies in good faith. We acknowledge that these concepts do not translate directly across all areas of the Pacific, nor do we presume to speak for all of the Pacific, but as a team we hold to them.

Our role is to deliver on the aims of the pilot project and ensure the ongoing development of this website, supported by our co-design team, and with oversight from our steering group.

Our Values


We will foster reciprocal relationships between Pacific people and communities, and those institutions that hold items from the Pacific.

Sharing and open access

We will share and showcase available Pacific collections and provide opportunities for Pacific people to share their own knowledge.

Collaboration and respectful consultations

We will work collaboratively with Pacific communities and institutions that hold Pacific items, and ensure consultations are respectful.


We will seek to protect the rights of Pacific people, how their items are displayed or used, and work to ensure their contributions are acknowledged appropriately.

Future generations and sustainability

We believe in the preservation and protection of Pacific knowledge and culture, for the benefit of future generations.

Empower Pacific voices

We believe in making space for and supporting the voices of Pacific based institutions, communities and representatives. We will provide opportunities for them to share and contribute their perspectives, world view and opinion.

Acceptance of the past and recognition of history

We believe the acceptance of how Pacific collections may have been acquired and the deliberate recognition of discrepancies of the past, will support the rebalancing of the narratives that shape our views on the Pacific. We will honour the legacy and lived experiences of all Pacific Island people.

Our Team

The Pacific Virtual Museum pilot teams are based at the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga, in Wellington, Aotearoa. We are a small team that will expand as we need to support the site.

Beneath the surface, this site is powered by the award-winning Digital New Zealand platform and technology, and we work alongside that team. This enables us to benefit greatly from their experiences and knowledge in this technology.

We connect regularly with colleagues at the National Library of Australia and our co-design group. We started as a team in January of 2020, and as Covid-19 and travel restrictions changed the global landscape, the vast majority of our engagement has been done using a number of online tools, across multiple time zones and locations. These tools have helped us share ideas about designs, test and gather feedback, work alongside our vendor at Boost and to hear contributions from many people to shape and deliver this website.

With support, guidance and direction from our steering groupco-design group, and key partners, we are looking forward to the supporting the pilot project aims and serving the users of this website.

Taputukura Raea: Programme Manager

Kia orana tatou katotoa i te aroa ma’ata o to tatou atu ko iesu mesia.

Te karanga nei te para pore “Auraka taau kia riro i te ta'i kē”.

Ko Taputukura tōku ingoa, E tamaine au na Caroline Marsters raua ko Mouauri Raea.

Tōku Metua tane no Mauke, mai (Ngaputoru) Ngati Akatauira, Manihiki, Rakahanga. Ko Raea to ingoa kopu tangata

Tōku Metua vaine, No Pamati, Rakahanga, Tongareva, Rarotonga, Ngati Pera, Ngati io, No Tahiti uānga Pomare ete uānga Dean.

Ko Marsters to ingoa kopu tangata.

E no’o ana au ki Raumati Beach.

E angaanga ana au ki Poneke, roto ite National Library. Tōku taoanga Programme manitia.

Kia orana!

My name is Taputukura Raea, I am of Cook Island descent from the beautiful islands of Mauke, Pamati, Rarotonga, and Tahiti. I grew up in Paraparaumu in Wellington, New Zealand. I have a MSc in Marine Biology and previously have worked with Māori and Pacific students to revitalise Mātauranga Māori and Pacific traditions in New Zealand schools.

My role as the Programme Manager is to connect with Pacific communities who would like to share their stories, the GLAM sector that holds items of Pacific heritage, and to build connections between the two groups.

Previous to this role, I worked at the New Zealand Ministry of Education on the science curriculum and the Tuia Mātauranga roadshow. This work involved visiting communities, and teaching New Zealand history through a Pacific perspective. I have also been a casual host at Te Papa Tongarewa for the past 10 years.

Polataivao Ulu Afaese: Content Analyst

My name is Ulu Afaese.

I am of Samoan descent and hail from the villages of Fagaee, Falealili, Mata’utu and Sagone.

I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand.

I have a BA, majoring in Political Studies and Sociology, and am currently studying towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Information Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.


My role as the Content Analyst is being responsible for the day to day relationship of our content partners who are contributing metadata to digitalpasifik.org. This work ensures that their content is easier to find, share and use via the site.

I am currently seconded from the Research Services team in the Alexander Turnbull Library and have previously worked at a range of other libraries in the public and academic sectors. I believe in enabling and supporting people as they seek to access to information and knowledge that is held within our libraries and archives.

It is an honour and a privilege to not only be a part of this project, but to truly engage with the those from across the Pacific Ocean and to work alongside them to develop and provide a platform where Pacific people can view their stories and learn about their history.

Matirini Ngari: Online Engagement Manager

Turou oro mai !

“Tera pa te Huru-awatea te tahirihiri mai ra i te maru o Arai-awa.” - Manihikian proverb

Ko Matirini Ioana Ngari toku ingoa, e tamaine au no te Kūki 'Airani mai. I te tua o tōku papa no Te Fuina o Niva mai au, e I te tua o tōku mama no te enua o Aitutaki e Rarotonga mai au.

Kua topa 'ia tōku ingoa no tōku mama ruau i te tua o tōku papa, e ingoa no Rakahanga e Manihiki mai teia.

Tōku papa ko Arona Ngari e toku mama to Tangianau Ngari (nee Parakoti).

E no'o ana au ki Tāmaki Makaurau (Akarana) i roto i te oire o Ormiston. E angaanga ana au ei Online Engagement Manager no te Pacific Virtual Museum.

Kia orana !

As the Online Engagement Manager my task is to engage our audience with resources and services available via the Pacific Virtual Museum. This could be through social media, emails, phone calls and if I am lucky enough, a face to face meeting.

My previous experience is with public libraries where I started my career connecting communities to the many services and resources that public libraries can offer. I have recently moved over from the Services to School Department of the National Library where I served as a Pacific Advisor for some time. This role included working with school library staff and educators to connect Pacific learners to resources that are relevant and relatable to them.

I hope to connect with you at some point and weave together more strands on this moenga (mat).

Our Steering Group

This group provides strategic oversight and serves as advocates for the project. Their key role is to ensure the team and co-design group deliver on the desired strategic aims and meet or exceed the pilot’s objectives.

The focus of the steering group is on addressing any strategic issues, supporting partnerships, managing risk, ensuring the project is effectively governed, and that funds are well spent.

At launch of the site, the members of the steering group and their roles are as follows.

  • Mark Crookston, Chair (joint) Pacific Virtual Museum Pilot Project Executive (joint)

  • Fiona Fieldsend, Chair (joint) Pacific Virtual Museum Pilot Project Executive (joint)

  • Stephen Deklin, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (Australia) representative

  • Orsola Del Sante-Bland, Department of Internal Affairs (New Zealand) Financial representative

  • Ian Cowan, Department of Internal Affairs (New Zealand) Technical Representative

  • Libby Cass, National Library of Australia Representative

  • Leone Samu, Museum Sector Representative

  • Opeta Alefaio, Co-design Group Representative

  • Eleanor Kleiber, University Sector Representative

Our Co-Design Group

This group of people has provided support, insight, critiques,and knowledge as we have designed and built this site. They represent institutions, content providers, and communities, while being from a range of locations around and within the Pacific. We are grateful for all of their contributions to date, and their support throughout this pilot.

As a result of COVID-19, we have only met and communicated using online tools. They have given much of themselves, while leading in their communities and organisations during a time of rapid change across the planet, and almost exclusively from their homes. We wish to honour this support during a time of great challenge by acknowledging them individually.

  • Eleanor Kleiber, University of Hawaiʻi; Hawaiʻi

  • Opeta Alefaio, University of South Pacific, PARBICA; Fiji

  • Cristela Garcia Spitz, University California at San Diego Library; San Diego, California

  • Libby Cass, National Library of Australia; Canberra, Australia

  • Julia Hickie, National Library of Australia - TROVE; Canberra, Australia

  • Kathryn Dan, Australia National University; Canberra, Australia

  • Kari James, Australia National University; Canberra, Australia

  • Catherine Zeigler, Australia National University; Canberra, Australia

  • Leone Samu, Auckland War Memorial Museum; Auckland, New Zealand

  • Claire Lanyon, Auckland University; Auckland, New Zealand

  • Damon Salesa, Auckland University; Auckland, New Zealand

  • Sean Mallon, Te Papa Tongarewa; Wellington, New Zealand

  • Grace Hutton, Te Papa Tongarewa; Wellington, New Zealand

  • Andrea Low, Auckland War Memorial Museum; Auckland, New Zealand

  • Paula Legel, Auckland War Memorial Museum; Auckland, New Zealand

  • Vaioleti Lui, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NZ; Wellington, New Zealand

  • Ruki Tobin, National Library of New Zealand; Auckland, New Zealand

  • Erlinda Naputi, PIALA, Joeten-Kiyu Public Library; Saipan, Northern Marianas

  • Kakaito Kasi, National Library of Papua New Guinea; Papua New Guinea

  • Edward Edawi, National Museum & Art Gallery; Papua New Guinea

  • Sandy Nepia, Te Rōpū Whakahau - Māori; Whanganui, New Zealand

  • Cristophe Auguaris, Bibliothèque Bernheim; New Caledonia

  • Vayana Chand, Université de la Polynésie française; French Polynesia

  • Pascal Albert, Université de la Polynésie française; French Polynesia

  • Suliana Vea, Alexander Turnbull Library; Wellington, New Zealand

  • Daren Komali, Auckland Libraries; Auckland, New Zealand

  • Heylayna Seiuli, Ministry of Pacific Peoples; Wellington, New Zealand

  • Teraaiti Euta, Kiribati Cultural centre and Museum; Kiribati

  • Lillie Le Dorré, Archives NZ; Wellington, New Zealand

  • Timoci Balenaivalu, National Archives of Fiji; Fiji

Our Review Process

Our commitment is to provide access to Pacific cultural heritage while at the same time respecting intellectual property, privacy and other legal rights of content partners, as well as seeking to acknowledge the rights and cultural identifications of content creators and people of the Pacific.

This site acts in good faith in providing visibility and access to digitised cultural heritage content. We do this by entering into agreements with our content partners to use their metadata, which is then presented on the site.

We are committed to making every reasonable effort to ensure that content partners have appropriate rights to the digital metadata of this cultural heritage and provide us with lawful access to that metadata.

However, there may be occasions when among the vast number of items and records that the website makes visible, there could be conflicting rights that we are not aware of. The items we display may highlight copyright, privacy, and defamation concerns, or may be material that is considered culturally sensitive.

There is no ability for us to enforce the removal of a record from the content partner’s digital catalogue. This website holds a copy of the content partner’s metadata, it is not a repository or holder of the content or item that is on display.

If you wish to request a review of an item on the site, please read the 'Review Procedures'.

Items from Trove based content partners:

Items or records held by Australian based content partners are provided to the digitalpasifik.org site via Trove.

If an item is from a collection that is provided via Trove, and there is a review request, the person making the request will be supported to engage directly with Trove staff. You can review the details of Trove/National Library of Australia’s takedown policy on their site.

Overview of review process:

Review requests will be assessed and decided upon by the team, in consultation with the content partner that is the holder of the item or record. The requester will be invited to be part of that conversation if they wish to and they are welcome to do so in a supported way as necessary.

This conversation will aim to bring together the expertise, knowledge and mana of the content partner, and the requestor. This knowledge may include community or familial knowledge, collection knowledge, legal issues related to information (e.g. freedom of information, copyright, privacy, confidentiality) and technical understanding of digital publications and information management. When appropriate, advice will be sought from experts with knowledge of the item. When the reason for the request is based on cultural grounds an expert in the area will be invited.

The cultural records the website may have on display will be subject to a range of existing cultural and legal frameworks. This may include Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi. When a request is related to cultural content the team may follow different procedures to respect cultural protocols.

As part of this process, the team will oversee a takedown register, which will be a record of what items receive requests. Content partners whose records have received a takedown request will be notified as part of the review process.

Our Review Procedure

Every item card includes a “Report this item” option next to it.

Selecting this option, creates an email, that opens in your email client, populated with text by us, similar to this:

The subject line in the email will have a unique URL so that we know exactly which item on the site you’re referring too. Please add the reasons for your review request, using as much detail as you wish to support the request. This email is sent to a shared mailbox that the team monitors. 

After receiving a review request email, the team will:

  • De-reference the record on the website. De-referencing means to effectively prevent those who use the site from seeing or gaining access to an item that is held by a content partner. It does not mean removing the record from the digital catalog of the content partner.

  • Acknowledge receipt of your request within 5 working days.

  • Consider your request and assess its validity. As part of that process, the team will engage with the content partner who holds the record or item.

  • If necessary, contact you and ask for additional information or clarification related to the request (the time framework for this stage could vary depending on the grounds and the complexity of the issue).

  • Aim to include the content partner and the person making the review request in any conversation. Once a decision is reached in consultation with both parties, the  team will enact that decision.

  • Ensure the decision and all relevant information are added to the takedown register.

Items held by contributing partners of Trove:

We share a large number of items and records that are held by Australian based content partners. These are provided to the site via Trove. If a review request concerns an item that is from a contributing partner of Trove, the person making the request will be supported to engage directly with Trove staff, as they have a number of existing processes to support reviews. You can review the details of Trove/National Library of Australia’s takedown policy on their site.

Take Down Register

The team will keep a register of all takedown or access restriction requests, decisions and actions. 

Potential Outcomes

The team is committed to resolving all requests swiftly and amicably, with the following possible outcomes:

  • Access to the material is unchanged on digitalpasifik.org

  • Access to the material is restored with changes on digitalpasifik.org

  • Access to the material is removed from digitalpasifik.org

We will communicate our decision and reasons to you. If circumstances change, access to the material may be restored.

Reasons for takedown

Your request should clearly highlight the legal or cultural reasons for the de-referencing request or why access restrictions are being requested. Among possible reasons:

  • Making the material available online is a copyright infringement.

  • The material is defamatory.

  • The record or item being held on the site is unlawful under New Zealand legislation.

  • The material is personal information and making it available online would breach privacy rights.

  • Cultural and ethical considerations.

How to make a general request

If you have any other questions or comments about an item or record displayed on the site, please use the contact form.

Our Review Principles

These principles guide our conversations as we support those making requests as well as the content partners, who hold the item or record. These principles are also underpinned by our values.

Collection Integrity

The assessment of each review request via the digitialpasifik.org site should consider the material not individually and in isolation but as part of a collection, that is held and curated by a content partner.


De-referencing means to effectively prevent users who use digitalpasifik.org from seeing or gaining access to an item that is held by a content partner. The user will always be able to use the content partners own digital catalogue or website to view and access these items.

The team will de-reference content from the digitalpasifik.org site, when a request is received. This will allow any discussion and consideration of the takedown request to be completed fairly and in the spirit of honouring the person making the request. Depending on the outcome of the review, the content may be reinstated on the digitalpasifik.org site.

The team will keep a register of the material that is de-referenced, to support any follow up conversations, and if required when engaging with content partners or the steering group.

Balancing Rights

Each request should be considered on a case by case basis weighing principles and purpose of the pilot project, the rights of Pacific people to access documentary and cultural heritage, and other cultural rights, whilst balancing them with the rights claimed in the request.


When it is possible the team will openly acknowledge the takedown or the permanent or temporary restriction on access with a statement explaining the reasons for the takedown or restrictions. When it is possible the metadata for the affected content will remain to avoid loss of historical record.

Amicable Solutions

The team is committed to resolving all requests swiftly and amicably. The team will make its best effort to provide temporary and permanent solutions in accordance with its technical capabilities. If feasible, the team will aim to support any user in their engagement with a content partner.

Metadata Changes and Corrections

The team is committed to providing metadata and descriptive information that is accurate and updated. When changes in metadata are requested for personal or legal reasons, the team is committed to not affecting the discoverability of the contents described.

As the metadata the digitalpasifik.org site presents always remains the property of the content partner, the team will in most instances, direct the request to the content partner for changes or corrections.

User Contribution

At a point in the future, the digitalpasifik.org site may provide spaces where users can participate online and contribute text, images and/or other content. At this point the terms and conditions of the website would be updated, and users made aware of those changes.

This feature that enables the ability to add contributions is currently not available to users of the site.

Welcome and warm Pasifik greetings

The information on this site has been gathered from our content partners.

The names, terms, and labels that we present on the site may contain images or voices of deceased persons and may also reflect the bias, norms, and perspective of the period of time in which they were created. We accept that these may not be appropriate today.

If you have any concerns or questions about an item, please contact us.